Which is the best Grand National trial?

Which is the best Grand National trial? Various steeplechases are considered ‘trials’ for the Grand National, officially and unofficially. Ironically, one of the worst of all is the William Hill Grand National Trial, run over 3 miles 4½ furlongs at Haydock in February, which has failed to produce a Grand National winner since Party Politics in 1993. Across the Irish Sea, the Bobbyjo Chase, run over 3 miles 1 furlong at Fairyhouse in February, has produced just one Grand National winner, Hedgehunter in 2005, in its relatively short history. That said, the 2017 winner, Pleasant Company, was beaten just a head in the 2018 Grand National and the 2019 winner, Rathvinden, finished third at Aintree the same year.

The Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase, run over 3 miles 6 furlongs at Cheltenham in March, was inaugurated as recently as 2005, but has since produced two Grand National runners-up and two winners. The 2014 winner, Balthazar, went on to finish second to Pineau De Re at Aintree, the 2017 winner, Cause Of Causes, went on to finish second to One For Arthur and the 2018 and 2019 winner Tiger Roll followed up in the Grand National on both occasions. By contrast, the Becher Chase, run over 3 miles 2 furlongs on the National Course in December, has yet to produce a Grand National winner in the same season; the 2001 and 2004 winners, Amberleigh House and Silver Birch, did go on to win the National, but not until a season or two later.

Which racecourse originally hosted the Welsh National?

Which racecourse originally hosted the Welsh National? Nowadays, the Coral Welsh Grand National is a Grade 3 handicap steeplechase run over 3 miles 6½ furlongs at Chepstow Racecourse, where it has been hosted since 1949. In its history, the race has assumed various positions in the calendar, but in recent years has been scheduled for December 27 each year. The race is also the subject of the longest-running commercial sponsorship in British horse racing, having been sponsored by Coral bookmakers since 1973; understandably, more often than not, it is referred to by its sponsored title.

Prior to Chepstow, the Welsh National was staged at Caerleon Racecourse, on the banks of the River Usk, just once before its closure in 1948. The race was established at Ely Racecourse, to the west of Cardiff, in 1895, largely as a result of the popularity of horse racing in the Principality. Indeed, the inaugural running was watched by 40,000 spectators, many of whom overwhelmed the stewards and effectively gatecrashed the meeting. The Welsh National remained at Ely Racecourse until its closure, in the face of dwindling attendances, in 1939. After a brief hiatus for World War II, the race was transferred, briefly, to Caerleon and hence to Chepstow.

What’s the diet of a racehorse?

What's the diet of a racehorse? The average thoroughbred racehorse weighs in at around 1,100lb and, ideally, should consume about 2.5% of its own body weight, or approximately two stone of foodstuff, every day to maintain its optimum weight. Racehorses can be considered elite athletes and, as such, require a diet high in fat, fibre, protein and starch to keep them healthy and performing to the best of their ability. In addition, they must supplement their calorie intake with plenty of clear, fresh water, typically between five and ten gallons, every day.

Of course, grass is the most natural foodstuff for horses, but racehorses work hard and often have only limited access to pasture forage, or hay, so typically require dietary supplements to meet their calorie demands. Oats, alone, are low in calcium, but high in phosphorus, which inhibits calcium absorption, such that prolonged overfeeding can lead to a condition known as secondary hyperparathyroidism. Consequently, oats are fed as part of a balanced diet, alongside grass, hay, other grains, such as corn and barley, sugar beet pulp and vitamin supplements. Racehorses are typically fed three times a day, early in the morning, before work, mid-morning and late in the afternoon.

Which horse was Paddy Brennan’s first Grade 1 winner?

Which horse was Paddy Brennan's first Grade 1 winner? Born in Ardrahan, County Galway, in April, 1981, Paddy Brennan began his riding career in Britain as conditional jockey to Paul Nicholls at Manor Farm Stables in Ditcheat, Somerset in 2000/01. His first four seasons yielded three, five, 15 and 19 winners respectively but, in 2004/05, increased his seasonal tally to 67 winners; that was more than enough to win the conditional jockeys’ title and ride out his claim.

At the Cheltenham Festival in March, 2005, Brennan went tantalisingly close to riding his first Grade 1 winner in the Arkle Challenge Trophy, only for his mount, Ashley Brook, to make a blunder at the final fence, from which he could not recover. Due recompense wasn’t far away, though; less than a month later, he rode the same horse to victory in the Maghull Novices’ Chase – also a Grade 1 contest – at Aintree.

Brennan has ridden at least 50 winners in each of the last 17 National Hunt seasons and, with 42 winners to his name already in 2021/22, he seems certain to do so again, barring accidents. On November 16, 2016, he reached the career landmark of 1,000 winners on British soil aboard Colin’s Sister, trained by Fergal O’Brien, at Warwick and, at the last count, had ridden over 1,300 winners. He currently lies second in the 2021/22 jump jockeys’ championship, with 43 winners from 152 rides, at a strike rate of 28%.

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